Our Australian Colleagues from SUP VIC just conducted a nice test of 12’6 stock race boards. They used a 500m flatwater course, consisting of 250m into the wind, a turn around a buoy and then 250m of downwind back. The conditions were flat water and low wind.
They tested the following boards (all unmodified production boards) with 6 different riders:
- Fanatic Fly Race Carbon 27” – 12kg
- Fanatic Fly Race Carbon 30” – 13kg
- Naish Glide Carbon 30” – 14kg
- Naish Javelin Carbon 28” – 13kg
- Coreban Alpha Race Carbon 29” – 10kg
- Starboard Race Carbon 27.5” – 12kg
- Starboard Race AST 31.5” – 17kg
- Starboard New/Ace AST 25.5” – 16kg
What was the result?
We already knew the 27” Fanatic flatwater board was fast, very, fast. The test confirmed that. It accumulated the fastest overall time (and average time) and was fastest with 3 paddlers. It was followed by the Naish Javelin and the Starboard Race 27.5”. The Starboard Race 27.5” was fastest with 2 paddlers. The Coreban Alpha Race was the slowest in these flat water conditions, not unsurprisingly, as it is more designed for open ocean racing. The wider 30″ Naish and Fanatic were in the middle but better suited for heavier riders.
Here is the overview of the results. Of course, when choosing a board for yourself weight, size and paddling skills also need to be taken into consideration. The height and size of the riders below might be of some help. Fanatic, Naish and Starboard surely build very competitive boards, still it’s not just the board, in fact, the board is only a very small factor. Statistical analysis of the results reveals that the paddler ability explains 60% of the difference in speed of this test, the difference of board only explains about 10% of the variation in time.
So, what can we learn from the test?
In flatwater, you really need a flat rocker and a displacement hull design, so the Coreban Board was clearly disadvantaged.
Also, the weight of the board had zero statistical relevant impact on the results (we do however assume this would change for longer distances).
If you want to be fast in flatwater, get a board with a flat rocker and displacement hull and go out and train hard and get a good technique!